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long letter, and shewing how much more forward and punctual a correspondent you are, than I take you to be.
Your detention, on board the packet, during the sabbath, on your return to Beaufort, must have been a trial to your feelings. But sometimes a suspension from our work in the season, or in the place, in which we would be employed, may be useful as a correction, for former remissness in it, and as a stimulus to increased fidelity, diligence and zeal in future. And whatever trial, serves to call into exercise, and so to manifest and strengthen faith, patience, submission, with other dispositions of the christian temper, is doubtless beneficial and desirable. I hope that you have been favoured with the continued enjoyment of your health, through the summer; and that, as your congregation is larger in the summer season, you have laboured with more extensive success, in your enlarged sphere of action and usefulness. If so, it may not be necessary that you should clearly see all the desirable fruits of your labours. Then perhaps, "pride might rise and swell,” as if you were somewhat, and could do something. Whereas, according to the observation of a pious and worthy divine: “ So much humility, so much grace have we :" and undoubtedly in the degree in which we can say from the heart, Not I, but the grace of God with me; so much better are we prepared for honor, success, and acceptance, ,
The information which you have given me of Col. B’s christian charity, zeal, and commendable labours, in the great cause of our blessed Redeemer, serves to confirm the favourable opinion, which I had formed of him, and to increase my esteem and regards, which he
had conciliated, as a man of superior talents, and as a worthy disciple of the most honorable, and the best of Masters. I trust that he will never be ashamed of his Lord and Saviour, or of his gospel; but that he will, with his increasing knowledge and experience, more and more glory in the cross of Christ ; and sure I am, that he will never repent of any worldly honors or interests which he has renounced, of any self denial which he has exercised, or any labours of love which he has performed, or christian principles, with a view to the glory of God, the best interests of his fellow men, and the final salvation, and everlasting happiness of his own soul.
Oh that we had thousands more added to our churches, like minded and qualified by natural powers, by education, by rank and influence in society, and by grace to support and promote, the most im- } portant and the best of causes ; the cause for which the Son of God laboured, suffered and died on earth, and for which he is continually employing all the honors and powers to which he is exalted on his mediato rial throne in heaven. But, for our consolation, it be. comes us to remember, that whether the wise, the learned, the rich and the great, approve or condemn, assist or oppose, this cause will be maintained, and will prosper and triumph. Alas! that in any place where, it has been at any time successful, it should ever again decline! But so it has been, among others, so it seems to be in some degree among you; and so it is, perhaps, more manifestly and lamentably among us : in consequence of human infirmity, of satanic subtlety and malice, and of the corrupting, pernicious influence of worldly things. May the Lord have mercy upon Zion, revive his work, and display his glory, in every part of
it, and hasten the time when it shall be established, and become a praise in all the earth !
With love to all friends around you, we are sincerly yours. Adieu, affectionately,
ISAAC S. KEITH.
To DR. F.
CHARLESTON, DECEMBER 3, 1805,
MY DEAR FRIEND,
You deserve credit for your attention to, and knowledge of, the human frame, corporeal and mental. If I mistake not, for I am very ignorant réspecting the arts and mysteries of the medical profession, it is the practice of the faculty, sometimes to cure one disease, by inducing, or stimulating another, not reckoned so dangerous. So you, having discovered that an indolent habit, is one of my moral maladies, that has assumed a menacing aspect, have with admirable art and skill, applied that wonderfully penetrating, and stimulating oil of flattery, to another morbid principle in my system, my vanity: wisely judging, that if this can be sufficiently excited, the other will be absorbed, and lost in this, and that this also may ere long, spend itself by its own natural evaporation. Let these learned observations be considered as designed, if they are not so well adapted as you might wish them, to convey an ingenious compliment to you, in return for the very genteel and handsome compliment to myself, which fills the first paragraph of your last letter to me, onder date the 27th ult.
Now let me go on with the plain careless language, which best suits a dull and lazy creature, to whom invention and the labour of polisbing, are exercises too burdensome and oppressive, to be long submitted to.
With you, I wish, that by some means or other, either by our own resources, or some funds of sacred and pious destination, both you and myself, could obtain abundantly larger supplies of those excellent little pamphlets, to which you refer, for charitable distribution. I think, that to many of those to whom they may be handed, they are well adapted to be useful, and in many cases, it is to be hoped, that they are productive of good effects, far surpassing their pecuniary value. In this way, as well as in many others, I persuade myself, that I would do more good, than I do, or than I well can. Some people, I believe, suppose my means to be much more ample than they are. For the worldly possessions, with which I am intrusted, I desire to be fervenily thankful to a most kind and bountiful Providence; and to the glory of the giver, the great Lord of all, I would willingly improve them. With respect to provisions and accommodations of a personal and domestic nature ; I do not allow myself to indulge in expenditures, wbich would involve the reality, or the appearance of luxury or extravagance. And yet, for a number of years past, the whole of my income, and sometimes, more, has been expended. If any
of it bas been employed to the purpose of doing good : that portion of it, I consider as the best improved and enjoyed ; and not unto me, but unto the God of all grace, from whom cometh down every good gift, who furnishes the means, and forms the disposition for usefulness, be all the praise and glory.
While I lament with you, the truly deplorable state of religion, in and about Boston, &c. it is pleasing to find our common worthy friend, Dr. M. so nobly contending for the faith once delivered to the saints, in his performance called, “True reasons ;” and I have been inuch gratified with the perusal of four numbers of the periodical work, entitled the Panoplist, &c. in which, he no doubt takes an active, and important part, with a number of able and zealous co-adjutors. I wish this work could be extensively circulated among us. But alas ! for want of an agent, qualified, and willing, and having time, &c. for obtaining subscriptions, delivering the pamphlets, and collecting the money, &c. I fear that they will be seen and read here by only a very few persons. I mean to write to Dr. M. shortly, if Providence permit; and I mean to order some more of the best small tracts, &c. on my own account, for charitable distribution; and when received, perhaps I may send you a few of them. You and I, as I think, if we were together, would in many cases and respects, harmonize in counsels and measures, for doing good : though perhaps, as my passions may be a little cooled by the chilling hand of time, I might not be found willing to go as far as your fervor would carry you, in combating the mistaken zeal of some people, who profess to be, and some of whom, it is to be hoped, are really serving the same great and all important cause, in which, as we hope, we ourselves are engaged. I am glad to hear that Mrs. B. has found so much satisfaction, in the “ Friendly visit to the house of mourning.” After perusing that excellent piece, nothing that I could write, would be worthy of her attention. But the best writings, or discourses of men, and indeed, the letter of